Sgt. James Lee Jacobs (Juvie)
27 Years Old

December 11, 1979 to March 30, 2007

James Lee Jacobs participated in the METCO program, getting up at 4 A.M. every day from the time he was in the second grade to come to Marblehead for his education. It’s difficult to understand the effort and determination and discipline that was provided by Carolyn, his mother. Like all kids, James was at that age where he actually listened to his Mom. Those of us who are parents however realize that kids outgrow that to some degree or other as they begin their middle and high school years. At that point James had to internalize those values instilled by his mother and made them his own.

I can’t think of a more eloquent statement to that effect, that in James’s own words, written in an essay prior to his graduation from Marblehead High in Massachusetts. “My goal in life is to succeed from an environment and social background that has become deteriorated. I hope to become a successful entrepreneur and start my own business.” James acknowledged that he was starting out with a disadvantage, but was willing to put in the work necessary to reach his full potential. He graduated from Marblehead High School ( Mass) and went on to serve his country during a very difficult time. His country asked him to put his life on the line, and put him in situations where he witnessed terrible, life altering events. But he got through that, was promoted through the ranks to first sergeant, and came home from Iraq to a place that should have been safe.

In typical fashion, he started down a new road of self fulfillment, attending Wentworth Institute while working full time and suffering the ill effects of some of the events he had witnessed in Iraq. A determined young man, striving to reach his potential. A patriot, trying to make the most of his God given talent. And yet that talent did wind up being wasted. Not by James, but by individuals who are part of a group in our midst that have effectively taken over the neighborhood where he grew up. I can’t speak to this situation, and won’t try. We can all point fingers and I guess there is plenty of blame to go around. Unfortunately no amount of finger pointing can bring James back.

What we can do is try to comfort his family, and be determined not to let his story be forgotten. James should have been allowed to complete his journey and become even more of a success story—a role model for kids coming up after him. That opportunity was taken away from him and from us all.

The picture of James I will always carry in my heart.


James Lee Jacobs was born on December 11, 1979, in Dorchester Massachusetts. On March 30, he was brutally murdered, being shot 18 times in the back on McLellan Street, a few miles from where he grew up. A little after 8 p.m., James was pronounced dead at Boston Medical Center. Before the shooting occurred, a neighbor saw James outside of his Range Rover waiting for a tow service because his tires had been slashed. Upon waiting for the tow service, a neighbor stated that James had been approached by 3 men, in which an argument started. A few minutes later, the neighbor stated that she heard a dozen gunshots go off, leaving James laying face down bleeding to death. There haven’t been any arrests since the day of James’s murder and the case has not yet been solved. The murderer has not been found at this time and he is still at large. If anyone has any valuable information pertaining to James’s murder, please don’t hesitate to come forth, so that we can catch James’s murderer before someone else’s child fall a victim to these types of vicious acts.


James Lee Jacobs


December 11, 1979-March 30, 2007

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James Lee Jacobs